Max Petroleum Releases Saipem Rig

Kazakhstan-focused Max Petroleum announced Monday that the need to obtain additional capital means it is releasing the Saipem National 1625 DE deep drilling rig that it was using to drill the NUR-1 well on its Emba-B pre-salt prospect.

In late June, Max reported that it had had more problems with the NUR-1 well when anomalously high pressures cause the drill pipe to become stuck at 18,775 feet. At the time, Max said that even if it freed the stuck pipe the cost of the well meant that it was facing financing issues since it had used $54.2 million out of a total borrowing capacity of $58 million from its credit facility.
Max said in a statement on Monday that negotiations are currently going on with its debt and equity providers to provide financing to complete the well, as well as the company’s post-salt exploration program, and to underpin future appraisal and development drilling. The firm is also continuing discussions with the Kazakh government to seek regulatory approval to allow the completion of the drilling of the NUR-1 well beyond the existing deadline of March 4, 2013.

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